End Hotel Resort Fees

TravelersUnited.org Sues Hotels and Resorts to End Hotel Resort Fees and other mandatory fees.

Room Rates That Exclude Mandatory Fees Are Deceptive, FTC Has Warned

Contact Lauren Wolfe regarding this issue.
Her email is [email protected]

resort fees

Unadvertised resort fees deceive travelers when added to room rates.

Travelers United advocates an end to deceptive mandatory hotel fees – often called resort fees. Hotels usually advertise a nightly rate per room but don’t indicate until guests arrive or receive their final bills that they must pay a mandatory ‘resort fee.’

These fees are usually called resort fees, but since it is a fee that exists so the hotel can lie about the advertised price, a resort fee
has nothing to do with a hotel being an actual resort. At many hotels these fees are called an urban fee, an amenity fee, a destination fee, a destination amenity fee, a safe fee, or a resort charge.

These fees are usually called resort fees, but since it is a fee that exists so the hotel can lie about the advertised price, a resort fee has nothing to do with a hotel being an actual resort. At many hotels, these fees are called an urban fee, an amenity fee, a destination fee, a destination amenity fee, a safe fee or a resort charge.

If a hotel charges a mandatory fee, it should be included in the advertised nightly room rate.

Failing to do so deceives the customer about the true cost of the room and undermines the consumer’s ability to comparison shop. Too often, consumers are surprised at check out when hotels sometimes demand hundreds of additional dollars in sneaky “resort fees.” Undisclosed mandatory fees that are not included in the advertised price of a hotel room are deceptive, unfair, and illegal.

Many Attorneys General agree. The Attorney General in each state is responsible for enforcing the laws of their state. A 50-state Attorneys General investigation has been going on for years about hotel resort fees, and many AGs have started to take action. The DC Attorney General sued Marriott. The Nebraska Attorney General sued Hilton. The Texas Attorney General sued Hyatt, Hilton, and Booking. The Pennsylvania and Texas Attorney General agreed with Marriott that the hotel chain would include all mandatory fees in the advertised price. In A + B = C pricing, Marriott must display the C price (the final price with all mandatory fees included).

Travelers United will not stop advocating against deceptive resort fees until all mandatory fees are included in the advertised price

Travelers United has recently launched multiple lawsuits suing hotels for charging customers
deceptive resort fees in violation of the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act (“CPPA”)

False advertising is against the law.

Travelers United demands an immediate end to charging hotel resort fees at any property in the
United States. This includes financial penalties for any District residents charged illegal hotel resort fees. Hotels must return DC taxpayer money spent on deceptive hotel resort fees. And they must end advertising complimentary rooms to District residents charged a resort fee on that “comped” room.

Lauren Wolfe, Travelers United’s Chief Legal Officer states, “Junk fees are not just greedy and
deceptive. They are illegal. This lawsuit will show that hotels violate the law when they charge resort fees without including them in the advertised price. American consumers are sick and tired of corporations taking advantage of them with relentless junk fees. Travelers United hopes this lawsuit permanently ends this deceptive practice and holds Hyatt accountable for their false advertising.”

Tycko & Zavareei LLP is representing the plaintiffs in these cases. One of Travelers United’s attorneys Peter Silva stated, “ While the process of stopping these illegal fees has just begun, we are confident that at trial, a D.C. jury will find that Hyatt violated the law.”

Travelers United is a 501(c)3 non-profit consumer protection organization that advocates for
American travelers. Travelers United has long fought against hotel junk fees.

Mandatory fees are on the rise.

Hotel and resort fees were estimated to grow to $2.7 billion in 2017, a 35% percent increase from 2012, according to a study by NYU School of Hospitality and Tourism Professor Bjorn Hanson. The number of hotels charging resort fees is up by 26% since 2016, and average resort fees have risen by 12%, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Resort fee rates have increased.

NerdWallet analyzed more than 100 hotels around the U.S. in 2023 and found that the average resort fee was $42.41. Relative to the room rate, resort fees averaged 11% of the overall cost to stay at the hotel each night.

Resort fees allow hotels to deprive cities of tax revenue.

Hotels charging resort fees in New York City cost the city $8,826,397.21 per year in lost tax revenue as of July 2017. Hotel resort fees should be part of the advertised rate and be taxed at hotel occupancy tax in New York City. However, only the advertised rate is taxed hotel occupancy tax. The resort fee is taxed at the lesser sales tax rate. That is a 5.875% tax loss on every room in New York City that charges hotel resort fees.

That money could go for affordable housing initiatives and better infrastructure for New Yorkers. Unfortunately, hotels are not just cheating consumers. They are cheating cities and states as well. This number has exponentially increased since 2017, and resort fees are causing New York City to lose nearly $100 million of tax dollars annually.

Case Updates

March 22, 2024 – Press Release – Travelers United defeated Sonesta Hotels’ attempt to have a lawsuit challenging junk fee practices dismissed. The court’s order also confirmed that Travelers United can serve as a class representative and shows that DC non-profits have an additional tool to help shape policy through class litigation.

Join The Fight to End Hotel and Resort Fees

Stand with Travelers United against the deceptive advertising of nightly hotel room rates. Donate to help us keep up this fight. To take action, file an FTC complaint, contact your state attorney general and call your member of Congress. Always remember you can and should refuse to pay any hotel resort fee.